WELCOME ALL SUBSCRIBERS to Volume 10 of The Dying Time Newsletter.
Re: Asking you for a favor.
I want to thank each and every one of you who went online to Amazon to The Dying Time: Impact page and voted up a five star review as "most helpful." while sales haven't improved yet I'm sure they will now that the two star review has dropped four full place.
I would greatly appreciate some feedback from you on the Prepper articles from my upcoming book, "Bugging-In" I include with each issue. Are they helpful? Stupid? Do you even bother to read them?
Feel free to email me direct or use the contact link on my website.
New subscribers who have missed previous editions of my Newsletter can find the past volumes on my website www.RaymondDeanWhite.com by clicking the Newsletter link.
After The Dying Time (Book Two in The Dying Time Trilogy) is now available.
The Dying Time: Impact is still available for only $1.99 and thanks to many of you it's getting some great five star reviews.
I am still finding CreateSpace table of contents templates rather user unfriendly if you have a book with 50 chapters, but I am determined to persevere.
I. Will. Get. This. Done.
And now for more of that Prepper content I've been delivering to you. This is an excerpt from a non-fiction book I'm working on titled:
BUGGING IN: WHAT TO DO WHEN TSHTF and YOU LIVE IN SUBURBIA by Raymond Dean White
Your Own Two Feet
I don’t know why people don’t think about their own two feet first when the subject of transportation comes up. They are the cheapest and most reliable form of transport available.
It was less than one hundred and fifty years ago that a literal flood of people walked all the way across America in search of a better life. They had to ford rivers without bridges, blaze their own trails, forage for food and fuel for their fires, endure wilting heat, violent storms and floods, and fight hostile natives along the way. I can just imagine some poor husband today saying, “Hey, honey. I’ve got an idea. Let’s leave civilization, taking only what we can carry in a very small wagon, hitched to oxen, and walk from Virginia to Oregon to start a new life.” Ouch!
They were a tougher breed than almost any of us around today and yet even as they headed west they brought with them an infrastructure that offered them support. Freight wagons hauled supplies, sailing ships and paddle-wheelers brought trade goods, and eventually steam-powered locomotives took them and their necessities wherever they were desired. There were mines and ranches and factories, water-powered and steam-powered mills to grind their grain, weave their cotton into cloth, and turn iron ore into steel.
If TSHTF because of an EMP, the only infrastructure we’ll have are roads clogged with vehicles good for nothing but use as solar powered food dehydrators. Okay, they’ll be good for siphoning gasoline from and as a source of lead acid batteries, and leaf springs and axles from which to make horse drawn wagons. But there will be no trucks bringing food to the markets. There will be no medical supplies other than what’s on hand. There will be no internet full of information at our fingertips. We will have advanced technological knowledge and no, or limited, advanced technology.
A Brief Detour Into Old Cars
Oh sure, cars and trucks built before 1974, the last year of breaker point ignitions, will probably run, but a strong enough EMP could damage alternators, starters and other, non-solid state automotive parts. In 1975 almost all car manufacturers switched over to breakerless transistorized ignitions, which are vulnerable to an EMP, even though they promote better gas mileage. Most older motorcycles that have kick starters and do not have fly by wire throttles will run. But even if you have a motor vehicle that will run, where are you going to go? Roads and side streets may be jammed with stalled vehicles and the very fact that you are mobile could make you a target for desperate mobs. If your intent is to loot your local grocery store or pharmacy well, others will have similar ideas, and you could easily get shot. Safer by far to stay home and fort up unless you have a tank, an APC, or a bunch of well-armed neighbors to go with you as backup.
Now, if you don’t live in a rainy area and you don’t live close to a natural water source you will need a vehicle to go get water and bring it back -- a risk you’ll just have to run. So get a pre-1974 pickup or van then get together with your neighbors and form an armed posse and go get your water.
Back to Feet
Okay, I got a bit sidetracked there and it probably won't be the last time. We were talking about feet. Take good care of them. Stock up on quality boots and shoes in both your actual size and in one size too large. (Feet swell when in constant use and in cold weather you’ll want extra socks). Keep your feet clean and dry, toenails trimmed, calluses filed and have a good supply of quality skin lotion. I’ve used Amlactin because it works well on healing cracked skin, but I’ve switched to O’Keefe’s Working Hands cream because I think it’s better. I also have a supply of Tinactin, just in case athlete’s foot rears its ugly head, but I rarely need it because I air my feet out regularly and keep them clean. I have a device that looks a bit like a cheese grater with a handle that I use to file calluses off my feet. Sounds gross but works great. Moleskin or even simple band aids can alleviate blister problems, but if you feel one forming you should stop and tend the problem before you get a blister. The nasty things can get infected if they break and you don’t take care of them immediately. Then where are you? You’re laid up with an infection in a world with no antibiotics. Whoa, sucks to be you.
As a young man I was a backpacker in remote mountain wilderness areas -- places where a sprained ankle or even an infected blister could be life threatening. The backpacker’s motto was, “Take care of your feet and they’ll take care of you.” By the way, soldiers learn the same thing. That motto will never be better applied than in a survival scenario. So think carefully, long and hard, about how to care for your feet and plan and prepare accordingly.
I’m a believer in boots -- hiking boots and work boots. They protect your feet and support your ankles. Every member of your family should have at least one good pair of boots and two or more pairs would be better since the things will wear out.
Now, just because I like boots doesn’t mean I wear them all the time. In fact, unless I’m doing shovel and rock bar work in our Arizona “soil” I normally wear tennis shoes. Okay, mine are really good walking shoes with good sole and ankle support and partial breathable fabric uppers to let the heat and sweat out. Best of all they’re comfy. Hey! I’m 65 and have become a fan of comfy.
But if I had some serious trekking or work to do I’d put on my boots.
The great thing about bicycles is that they are useful for things other than transportation. They can be hooked up to pumps, generators, and grain mills, just to name three. A bicycle is the most efficient form of transport ever devised by man in terms of calories burned per mile. They are also simple enough to be repaired with hand tools. I suggest you get a decent quality cruiser style bike with fenders and saddle baskets for toting water, food or what have you. A simple Schwinn like this one for $199 should do, though I hate to recommend anything that isn’t, say it with me, “Made in America.”
These bikes ARE made in America.
http://www.campuscruisers.com start at $299
http://bowerylanebicycles.com/bicycles.html start at $550
My own bike is a beat up old vintage Schwinn with fat tires and no gears -- and as a result I don’t ride it much anymore. A bicycle pump is another handy thing to have around, as are tire repair kits, chain link repair kits, and Three-in-One oil. Another cool item is a bicycle trailer for hauling all your extra stuff.
Back in the bad old days of the Vietnam War, the Viet Cong would load a couple of hundred pounds of food and ammunition onto a bicycle and push it down the Ho Chi Minh trail to its destination, then climb onto the now empty bike and ride back for more.
Now we have mountain bikes that cost a fortune and come with every conceivable option--one of which I really like is solid foam rubber tires or tubes so they never go flat. They also have comfortable suspensions.
The good news is that the solid tubes come in a variety of sizes, one of which will probably fit your bike.
The bad news is that critics claim solid tires or solid tubes provide less grip, comfort, and stability than pneumatic tires, that many pneumatic tires are almost as good as the solid ones about not going flat, and that solid tubes and tires (because they don’t absorb bumps as well as pneumatic ones) cause excess wear and tear on hubs, which can cause catastrophic tire failure with little or no warning.
I hasten to add that most critics ride or race mountain bikes over rough trails at high speeds--something a smart guy like you, who is just using a bike for alternative transportation or to carry a heavy load while you push it, would never do.
I am not going to offer links to mountain bikes. Go to your local bike shop, get fitted and find one that’s best for your projected needs.
I used to dream of sailing the world in a catamaran, but my wife gets sea sick in a bath tub. I had to choose -- boat or wife. I chose wife and, thirty years later still think I got the best of it.
If the nearest river (the Colorado) wasn’t sixty miles away and if the nearest lake wasn’t almost as far I’d at least have a boat or canoe, but recreational boating just isn’t in the cards and I don’t mind fishing off the bank...really.
One of these days I do intend to pick up an inexpensive rowboat. Maybe I’ll put it on the roof like some folks who live in flood prone areas do. Make a great conversation piece here in the desert.
“Yup,” I’ll say, pointing up to the boat, trying to look wise if I can avoid cracking up. “You never know when a monster flood will come along.”
If you live on or near such bodies of water or if you live in flood prone areas then you need a boat. Just figure out how to convince your family it isn’t a toy it’s a “must have” for survival. Of course you’ll have to get all the other stuff that goes with boating. Life vests, bumpers, trailers, and anchors leap to mind, but since I don’t own one I’ll leave that preparation information up to those more qualified.
You can take it from there.
Old Cars Again
Since I am not made of money I can’t just go out and buy a pre-74 pickup or van. What I have available is a 1984 Dodge Raider (in reality a Mitsubishi Montero). It has a breakerless, transistorized ignition, so I need to buy a spare and put it in a faraday cage. That gives me at least a chance of making it run after an EMP. If I seem focused on EMP’s it’s because I view that as the absolute worst-case scenario short of an all out nuclear war or a massive asteroid strike and both of the latter are well beyond the scope of this discussion.
Easy Faraday Cages
Putting spare electronic parts in a Faraday cage may be the only feasible choice for many people, but I wouldn’t try it if your vehicle is newer than the early 80’s since almost all cars and trucks were fully computerized by 1985. Incidentally, the faraday cages I use are old metal popcorn cans I mostly picked up at garage sales. I place the parts in a plastic bag and vacuum seal them (if they don’t have sharp edges), then wrap them in bubble wrap, put them in the can and seal the lid with aluminum duct tape. If the part has sharp edges that will prevent a vacuum seal, I just wrap it in bubble wrap before putting it in the can. An electrical engineer I know tells me this should work against an EMP. I’ve heard that the cans or other Faraday cages don’t need to be grounded and I suspect that is true. But opinions differ so do a little research and decide for yourself. Here’s a terrific link about how to make your own Faraday Cages.
Wagons Carts Sleds
Whether hitched to a bicycle or a person a wagon or cart vastly increases your load carrying capacity. That’s why homeless people steal shopping carts. In the suburbs or in the city a shopping cart is the most likely “wagon” you can scavenge. If your nearest natural water source is within ten miles you can walk there, take the one gallon water jugs you’ve brought there empty and fill them, load the cart and walk back. A cart or wagon with larger, rubber or plastic wheels would be better as it would be less noisy, easier to push along asphalt streets or concrete sidewalks, and more stable. On the other had you can, if you have to, use a shopping cart as a barbeque grill.
A wheelbarrow is an option but you can’t carry as much, it ties up both hands, and it’s harder on your back.
A wheeled suitcase or even a stroller is better than nothing. Think outside the box.
A big dog can pull at least a small cart. I’ve omitted any discussion of horses or mules because most suburban areas don’t allow them.
Depending on the season of the year and where you live, a sled or toboggan could work better. My dad once took the hood off a pickup truck, turned it upside down and hitched it behind a tractor, loaded it with hay bales, and off we went through deep snow to feed cattle. Ingenuity is always useful. And for those of you who wonder why he did that our hay wagon had a broken axle.
On Foot Again
If you are forced to trek somewhere on foot for supplies and you don’t have a cart, at least use a good backpack -- one with, at the minimum, a hip belt to take the load off your shoulders. Any kind of pack, even a daypack will help. There are some great packs out there but once again I’m not going to post a link. Go to your local mountaineering or backpacking store and have them fit one to you before you buy it. As a young man just out of the Navy I once worked in such a store and I advised customers looking at packs to load one up with the amount of weight they usually carried then walk around the store for a couple of hours to see how it felt. Those who heeded my advice got packs that were better fitted to their needs and their backs than those who ignored it.
All packs you use should have a minimum level of survival gear in them. Even if it isn’t strictly speaking a Bug Out Bag (BOB), since you aren’t bugging out, it should contain, at the minimum: enough water for you to stay hydrated while making your round trip; a knife; first aid supplies such as gauze, tape, scissors and large band aids; a snack or meal you can eat while walking (such as nuts, raisins and candy); some cord; a flashlight (preferably a headlamp type); matches, a BlastMatch or Gobsmack firesteel and a fireplace lighter; spare ammunition for whatever caliber weapon you are carrying in your hands; a pair of work gloves; a small bottle of disinfectant; some TP; a garden trowel; a poncho (in case it rains); and a two way radio to stay in touch with others in your party or at your home base. The radio, food, water and ammo should be in outside pockets, readily accessible.
You should be wearing a hat, light enhancing, polarized sunglasses (or, if there’s snow on the ground, dark sunglasses), and a bandana, which can help protect your face from wind, or be used as a washcloth or a bandage. If it’s hot out, and here in the desert we regularly hit temperatures over 112 in the summer, an excellent portable personal cooler to have is an Endura Cool Bandana or Personal Towel. You activate it by soaking it in water, wringing out the excess and giving it a sharp jerk. Then simply wear it around your neck or over your head and you will feel twenty degrees cooler for hours. I haven’t investigated how it works and don’t really care. All that matters to me is it does work. I got mine at Lowe’s, but they are available online at Amazon or on the Home Shopping Network.
My hat is from the Herschel Hat Company. It is a model called the Aussie Breezer and is designed for desert living. It has a broad enough brim to shade my face and neck, a mesh sideband for ventilation and a solid crown for shade. Mine is a color called “Earth” and like most Herschel Hats is American made. It’s crushable, yet retains its form and I’ve beat mine to death for seven years now with no worries.
I’ve seen guys who work outside all summer in our intense heat wearing flap hats. Some of these resemble a ball cap with a wrap around flap of material that shades their neck and ears. Others look more like mine but again with that flap of material. Here’s a link.
Except in cases of dire necessity you won’t be going anywhere alone after TSHTF and everyone in your party over the age of ten will be armed. If you don’t, or won’t, carry guns, carry a club, such as a ball bat or wrecking bar, or a machete, a bow and arrow, a crossbow, even a slingshot. The point being to carry something that says, “We are not an easy target.”
I believe anyone, especially a head of family, who refuses to own a gun and learn how to use it, is irresponsible, and is setting themselves up to fail in their duty to provide for and protect their loved ones -- especially after TSHTF.
Another good strategy is to move only at night. Some of my neighbors think I’m nuts because I walk around outside at night without a flashlight. “That’s when the snakes are out,” they say, and they’re right. In Arizona, or any desert area, the rattlers will be out at night. So will Gila Monsters and tarantulas. So what? These creatures do not want anything to do with anyone as big as me or you. Make some noise and they will vanish before you are in range. I also have excellent night vision and am usually walking with my eighty-pound Weimaraner and if there was anything remotely dangerous out there she would let me know in a flash.
Now a well-prepared person who wanted to move around at night should have night vision equipment. I’ll freely admit that I don’t (yet) but I am looking into it and will get it when I’ve finished researching the subject. My only problem with the ones I’ve seen so far is the limited/tunnel vision when looking through them. When you’re wearing one you have to keep your head on a swivel. In spite my not liking the restricted view the fact is you can see much better at night with one of these units on than anyone using their naked eyes.
Motor Vehicles Again
Now let’s assume someone as astute as you are had a 1960 VW Van or some other old car or truck that will run after TSHTF. Let’s further assume your area of town isn’t jam packed with stalled vehicles so you actually can go somewhere. Now remember, even if the streets are passable there will be plenty of obstacles to maneuver around. There may even be fallen trees.
But hey, you and your MAG really need water and the lake/river/pond is five miles away. So you load up an IBC container or two (or whatever you intend to haul water in), some hose and a hand pump to transfer the water from wherever into your containers, or an electric pump that plugs into your cigarette lighter in your vehicle. You assemble your armed posse for protection and grab your two-way radios. You want the radios so you can stay in touch with your base of operations
Your vehicle is already equipped with more than one spare tire and a means to patch and inflate it. You have a come-a-long, some heavy duty rope or chain, a chainsaw and accessories, bolt cutters to deal with any inconvenient padlocks or fences, a crow bar to smash windows of locked cars you may have to move out of your way, full fuel cans as well as some empty fuel cans and a siphon hose.
Your van, truck, car has drinking water for you and your crew and a few snacks if you think you’ll be gone that long. It will have extra ammunition and it will be as well armored as you can make it. An old Brinks truck would probably be ideal. Strike that. An armored personnel carrier with a fifty-caliber turret up top would definitely be better.
You may have a ball hitch and a trailer you pull behind your truck because you have to carry so much stuff and still have room for your posse. There are a lot of options here because in addition to going for water you may be scavenging for other supplies. You may even need trade goods since some other enterprising MAG may have secured the water source and gone into the water sales business.
If you have motorcycles (and hopefully some in your MAG does) use them to scout your route. If not, use bicyclists. The point being someone has to scout the safest way for you to get there and back and by the way a bicyclist will probably be able to make good time due to excellent maneuverability.
The main problem with such a convoy is that it will attract unwanted attention. Engines are noisy and in the relative silence of a SHTF world such noise could call zombies down upon you. That’s why you go armed.
The whole idea behind bugging in is that you are forting up so you don’t HAVE to go anywhere. You are growing your own food, producing your own power and hopefully pumping your own water right on your own property. So if it is at all possible anyone set up like this will stay home. Still occasions can arise where travel becomes necessary. I hope I’ve given you some ideas about how to do so safely.
By foot would be the most stealthy and possibly safest way to travel, and that only if you didn’t stick to main roads. Following a railroad track or a hiking trail could be good, less likely to be spied upon ways to go. Rowing or paddling along a river--so you can move quietly--is also an option, but if you choose this method keep near a shoreline and cover. Unless it’s a really big river like the Mississippi where others won’t be able to shoot you from shore.
Unless you have a mountain bike any bicycle will constrain you to roads--and in your new world roads could be very dangerous.
Anywhere you go, do so in a strong group--a group that at first sight says Do. Not. Mess. With. Us.
Now, all of this presumes a complete breakdown of civil authority. There are no cops, no firemen, no National Guard or other troops trying to restore order. There is, to your knowledge, no communications with any central command structure. It is chaos and anarchy out on the streets and may remain so for some time. That is the situation you are in and that is precisely why you will not be travelling for any reason excepting truly extreme circumstances.
I AM NOT ASSOCIATED WITH ANY OF THESE BUSINESSES IN ANY CAPACITY OTHER THAN THAT OF CUSTOMER. I OFFER THESE RECOMMENDATIONS BASED EITHER ON MY OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH THE PRODUCTS OR MY HAVING RESEARCHED THEM EXHAUSTIVELY. USE MY RECOMMENDATIONS AT YOUR OWN RISK.